Tabatha Deans

Bringing Integrity to the Written Word

JACK AND THE BEAN TREE
Today Denver saw record temperature of 105 degrees. I cannot, in my lifetime, remember ever having been anywhere it was 105 degrees. I distracted myself from the rough temperatures by meeting Tim downtown for lunch, then going home and spending the hottest part of the afternoon lounging on the futon watching the Big Lebowski. About 5 o’clock I made a light meal of cold chicken, cottage cheese and tomato slices, too hot to cook anything. Unfortunately, the heat has some negative effect on digestion, and by 6 o’clock I felt terrible and uncomfortably full, so I headed out for a walk. I walked to City Park, thinking the shade would help cool down the temperatures. But a cop was shot at the park last night while trying to break up a fight, and the place was still crawling with lookie-loos and bad vibes, so I turned around and headed downtown. I wandered down to Union Station, and back up the mall, then hit 16th street toward home. 16th street includes a strip of land between the sidewalk and the road that is covered in grass, so I took off my tennis shoes and enjoyed the feel of the cool grass on my feet as I worked my way up the hill.
As I approached Pennsylvania, I noticed an older gentleman crossing the street in front of me. He was dressed all in black, and the slight breeze blew his pant legs around his thin thighs. His long gray hear flapped in the wind, and he seemed a bit familiar. As I passed him I realize it was Jack—an older gentleman I had met at McDonald’s a few weeks ago. He was staying at the YMCA, his wife had died not too long ago, and we met after he respectfully wished me good morning at McDonalds. He was the mirror image of British actor Sir Christopher Lee, except his brown eyes were now clouded gray with cataracts. I greeted him as I passed and he told me he was returning from a senior citizen event up the street. He commented on the fact that I wasn’t wearing shoes and was obviously enjoying the cool grass under my feet.
Jack fell in step beside me as I wandered up the hill, and questioned me as to my Utah upbringing. We stopped to sit on a white stone bench in front of what was once a mansion for Denver’s elite, enjoying the shade. The tree had pods, kind of like peas or beans would grow in, hanging from its branches, and Jack plucked them off and broke them open as we spoke.
He wanted to know my thoughts on religion. Was mormonism a cult? Was polygamy the norm? Did I think Joseph Smith was truly a man of God? Chatting with Jack passed the time, and took both of our minds off the heat. He walked me the last few blocks up the hill toward my building, specifically so he could show me a single rose that was blooming in the hidden shadows of the vines covering a fence near the youth hostel.
We both inhaled the scent of the secret rose, and he thanked me for my conversation and companionship before bidding me farewell, and promising to meet me again at McDonalds soon.

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June 26, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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